General Business

2023 Corporate Director of the Year Award Winners Announced

Leading corporate governance organization to honor three individuals and two company boards for exemplary board leadership

The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) New Jersey Chapter today announced the recipients of the 2023 Annual Director of the Year Awards. This event recognizes directors of public, private and nonprofit boards who have made valuable contributions to the boards on which they serve and advanced exemplary board leadership. The awards will be presented at a formal ceremony on Monday, May 8 at the Pleasantdale Château in West Orange.

The NACD New Jersey Chapter will be honoring three individual board members and two boards. The 2023 honorees are:

Lifetime Achievement in Governance: Fred Hassan is an experienced CEO and director in the healthcare sector with a reputation of driving value. He is the former chairman and CEO of Schering-Plough Corp. and of Pharmacia Corp., until its acquisition by Pfizer Inc. Hassan is also the former CEO of Upjohn Inc., which merged with the Monsanto Corp. to become Pharmacia Corp. in 2000. He has served in board and advisory roles for private equity giant Warburg Pincus since 2009.

Hassan serves on the boards of BridgeBio Pharma, Prometheus Biosciences and Precigen Corp. He formerly served on the boards of Amgen Inc., Time Warner Inc., Avon Products Inc., Bausch & Lomb, Theramex and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. He is the past member of The Business Council and is the past chairman of the board of directors of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). He has received numerous awards including 50 Best CEOs (1999), CEO of the Year (2009) and Entrepreneur of the Year (2019).

Leadership in Public Corporate Governance: Tim Ringwas chairman and CEO at C.R. Bard Inc. from 2003 until 2017. He led Bard during a period of significant expansion, with annual revenue growth of an average 7.9%. During his tenure, Bard’s share price had an annual appreciation of 17.6%. The company was acquired by Becton Dickinson in December 2017.

He has served on the board of three New Jersey-based companies and has been a director of Becton Dickinson since 2018 and a director of Quest Diagnostics Inc. since 2011, where he currently serves as lead director. He was also a director of CIT Group from 2005 to 2009. Together with his wife, Kathryn Gleason, Ring co-founded a nonprofit and related for-profit impact fund called TEAMFund, whose mission is to expand access to medical technologies for patients in low-resource and health-inequitable environments. The fund now has seven portfolio companies who together have treated over 35 million patients, nearly 80% of whom were in Africa or India.

Leadership in Nonprofit Governance: Anne Evans Estabrook is regarded for her many contributions to the redevelopment of the State of New Jersey. Her nonprofit board leadership impact includes serving on the President’s Council of Kean University, on the Board of Fellows of Weill Cornell Medical College, as a Trustee Emeritus of Cornell University, and as a Vice-Chair of Rutgers Business School of Management. Anne has served as the President of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) Research Foundation. She also was President of the New Jersey NAIOP Chapter and National Chairman of NAIOP. In addition, she was a Director of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). She also Chaired the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.

When not involved in New Jersey’s business and government entities, Estabrook devoted her time and effort to the healthcare industry. She is a Trustee of Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, New Jersey and a Trustee of RWJBarnabas Health, the largest healthcare provider in New Jersey. Estabrook ‘s most recent undertaking is becoming a director in 2022 of National Medical Fellowships, Inc. (NMF), an organization that envisions a diverse healthcare workforce which exemplifies the leadership, education, commitment, and cultural competency necessary to achieve health equity for all.

Additionally, Estabrook is a member of the Archbishop of Newark’s Finance Council. She is also involved in the New Jersey arts community. She serves as a Trustee of NJPAC (New Jersey Performing Arts Center) and as a member of its Executive Committee.

Private Company Board of the Year: Turtle & Hughes is a 100-year-old family-owned business and one of the nation’s largest independent electrical and industrial distributors serving the industrial, construction, commercial, electrical contracting, export and utility markets. It is a significant force in the engineering and procurement of power distribution, automation, lighting and energy projects and solutions that help customers reach their sustainability goals and create measurable impact for a greener world. Turtle & Hughes’ Integrated Supply division provides on-site maintenance, repair and operations procurement, cost saving and spend analytics operating across the U.S. and in Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Public Company Board of the Year: AdvanSix is an American chemistry company that plays a critical role in global supply chains, innovating and delivering essential products that touch people’s lives in a wide variety of end markets and applications, such as building and construction, fertilizers, agrochemicals, plastics, solvents, packaging, paints, coatings, adhesives and electronics. Its reliable and sustainable supply of quality products emerges from the vertically integrated value chain of the company’s U.S.-based manufacturing facilities.

In reflecting on the importance of these awards and recognition, Trish Oelrich, board chair of NACD New Jersey, commented, “It is a critical time in business and society and corporate governance is playing an increasingly important role in guiding companies of all sizes to address key issues that have emerged in recent years. We look forward to honoring directors and leading organizations that continue to make significant contributions to the state of New Jersey and the business community.”

Jeannie Diefenderfer, event chair and NACD New Jersey board director, added, “The Director of the Year Awards is an important event in the New Jersey corporate and civic communities. We’re proud to celebrate companies and individuals that have set a high standard in governance and leaders who bring a commitment to diversity, sustainability, and purpose.”

Nominations for consideration of the awards are made by NACD New Jersey Chapter directors and reviewed by a selection committee made up of community and corporate leaders and noted authorities on governance.

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